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Take a Break: Manhattan’s 5 Best Indoor Public Spaces

lobby atrium
Escape the cold with these cozy public spaces.

Visiting New York during the chilly winter months? These indoor public spaces serve as cozy havens from the frosty weather.

As any native New Yorker will tell you, winters in the city can get pretty darn frigid. Luckily, if you know where to look, you can find privately-owned, public indoor spaces in every neighborhood of Manhattan, perfect for taking a break from the hustle and bustle, sipping a coffee, or just enjoying the spirit of the city during the holiday season.

1. Westfield World Trade Center

The newly opened mall at the World Trade Center in the Financial District features striking architecture, panoramic views, and 500,000 square feet of retail space. Browse upscale retail stores like Hugo Boss and Michael Kors, grab a snack at Eataly, or take a moment to simply appreciate the wide open, marble-ensconced interior design. If you’re visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, this is a great spot to unwind and reflect after your visit.

2. The Onassis Center

Take respite from the cold at the Onassis Cultural Center, a Midtown space featuring a range of art exhibits from ancient and modern Greece alongside impressive architectural displays. Situated inside Olympic Tower, the Center is open 10 AM to 6PM, Monday through Saturday, with extended hours on Thursdays.

3. David Rubenstein Atrium

Located on Broadway at Lincoln Center, the David Rubenstein Atrium is an oasis from the busy Upper West Side streets. In addition to ample seating, free live performances, and complimentary WiFi, this spot also offers a full information desk and multiple dining options. The aesthetically pleasing space also houses two vertical gardens, a floor-to-ceiling fountain, and an art installation by Dutch textile artisan Claudy Jongstra.

4. The Ford Foundation

The 160-foot tall garden snaking up the main atrium of the Ford Foundation building is considered to be one of New York’s hidden botanical gems. Though seating can be hard to come by, especially during lunchtime on a work day, this indoor jungle is worth a visit if you’re craving some greenery in the midst of your urban exploration. With full-size trees, ferns, flowers and water features, the atrium recreates a lush rainforest in the heart of Midtown East. The atrium is open weekdays only, 10 AM to 4 PM.

5. Citigroup Atrium Center

Set inside one of the largest skyscrapers in the city, the atrium at the Citigroup Center consists of three stories of restaurants, shopping, galleries, and indoor seating. Enjoy browsing, or simply unwind in this modern and classy midtown space.

At the end of a long day of sightseeing (especially a cold, wintry day), there’s nothing like coming back to your perfect home-away-from-home. On Tuesday, November 22, take advantage of Affinia’s Cyber Monday promotion to book your room or suite at up to 50% off. Even better: every 50th reservation booked on our site will be automatically upgraded. Need we say more?

(Image Credit: joevare/Flickr)